Tal"is*man (?), n.; pl. Talismans (#). [Sp., from Ar. tilism, tilsam, a magical image, pl. tilsaman, fr. Gr. tribute, tax, LGr., an initiation, incantation, from to complete, perform, to play taxes, to make perfect, to initiate, especially in the mysteries, fr. completion, end.]
A magical figure cut or engraved under certain superstitious observances of the configuration of the heavens, to which wonderful effects are ascribed; the seal, figure, character, or image, of a heavenly sign, constellation, or planet, engraved on a sympathetic stone, or on a metal corresponding to the star, in order to receive its influence.
Hence, something that produces extraordinary effects, esp. in averting or repelling evil; an amulet; a charm; as, a talisman to avert diseases.
© Webster 1913.